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Dublin: 5°C Friday 21 January 2022

Another pay dispute in the Labour Court - this time it's Irish Rail

Iarnród Éireann, or Irish Rail, want efficiency improvements before they implement the pay deal. Workers say that’s not what was agreed.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

A MEETING TO discuss a pay dispute between Irish Rail and its workers was underway at the Workplace Relations Commission today, and has been referred for a full hearing at the Labour Court.

The dispute concerns a claim by workers to a 21% pay rise, which they say they are entitled to because the company has returned to profitable levels.

Trade union organiser, Paul Cullen (SIPTU), said: “Our members in Irish Rail have not received a pay increase since 2008 despite having contributed to a significant reduction in overall payroll costs through agreeing to implement a series of cost-containment measures.”

He said that the claim presented on behalf of their members was for a flat rate pay increase, but that the company wanted to qualify that arrangement.

The company stated that it wanted to talk about productivity and presented a list of efficiencies both across the company and specific to certain grades of worker.

He added: “Our members have already obtained two Labour Court recommendations on productivity which have yet to be addressed by management. In light of this they have requested that the company make an offer of a flat rate increase without any further strings attached.”

According to RTÉ News, Iarnród Éireann Director of Human Resources Ciaran Masterson said the company has an accumulated deficit of €153 million and that without Government support, the company would be in a very difficult situation.

Industrial action has been threatened by Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus workers, and Luas drivers secured a pay rise after strike days against the private company Transdev.

Last year, the Labour Court recommended that the State increase payments for the gardaí, creating a deficit that requires cuts to be made to the government’s overall expenditure.

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